The future of Fair Trade coffee: dilemmas facing Latin America’s small-scale producers

Fair Trade has become a dynamic and successful dimension of an emerging counter-tendency to the neo-liberal globalisation regime. This study explores some of the dilemmas facing the Fair Trade movement as it seeks to broaden and deepen its impact among the rural poor of Latin America’s coffee sector. We argue that the efforts to broaden Fair Trade’s economic impact among poor, small-scale producers are creating challenges for deepening the political impact of a movement that is based on social justice and environmental sustainability. The study is based on two years’ research and seven case studies of Mexican and Central American small-scale farmer cooperatives producing coffee for the Fair Trade market.